Remembering Walter Cronkite

For CRONKITE SPECIAL remembering cronkite special CBS

There are thousands of voices delivering the news today, but there once was a time, not long ago, when one voice mattered most:

"Good evening from CBS News Control Center in New York.
This is Walter Cronkite reporting."


"There is no way you can analyze it. You can't send it out to 'CSI' and say, 'Alright, look at the DNA of Walter Cronkite and how do we replace that or replicate it?'" newsman Ted Koppel said of Cronkite's unique journalistic abilities.

"There was a time when someone, one person could say, 'That's the way it is.' And we all trusted it was true," said Diane Sawyer, co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" and "Primetime Live."

Of Cronkite's reports, Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of "NBC Nightly News" said, "It gave such a global-village feel to things. No one moved. America gathered… this was the gateway to the American evening."

"I'm the son of a newsman, and it's a huge part of my life," said actor/producer George Clooney. "I grew up in a newsroom… I know Walter very well. We did a live television show… It's fun to be around somebody who's actually been part of real historical events. You know, the guy who held our hands through some of the biggest changes in our country's history."

"In Dallas, Texas. The flash apparently official. President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, Two o'clock Eastern Standard Time. Some 38 minutes ago."

"We didn't know whether John F. Kennedy had died. Walter was the one who told us," ABC's Barbara Walters said of Cronkite's memorable live report of President John F. Kennedy's death on Nov. 22, 1963.

"There is something that is so quintessentially American about Walter Cronkite… his honesty and candor in difficult times," said Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News."

President Bill Clinton said, "to me, he represents the best of the First Amendment. The best of the freedom of the press."

Clinton on Cronkite

"He understood how to translate things to the television medium and make them work," said Charlie Gibson, anchor of ABC "World News."

Dan Rather, former anchor of the "CBS Evening News," said "Walter Cronkite didn't just play a reporter on TV. He was a reporter."

"It's amazing to see the man. For me he's such an icon. Meeting him was the best thing. He almost feels like an uncle to me," said actor/comedian Robin Williams. "At that point in American history, he was the voice - a voice that people believed and trusted."

Sawyer said, "I think he is the most wonderful combination of a certain steel of integrity, but absolute humanity."

Drummer Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead invited Cronkite to a performance. "He said, 'I love your music.' He was a freedom fighter and he was an honest, truthful guy that used his power while he was here on earth well. He was for the good."

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.